13
Nov
08

Television: ‘The First Australians’ SBS TV Australia

November 2008

 

A wonderful, long overdue documentary series on SBS television about the history of ‘Terra Nullius’, the white occupation of lands through the persecutions, massacres and genocide enacted upon the Aboriginal population.

Although some of the ‘academic’ comment lacks balance this can hardly be blamed.

As an Englishman who is now an Australian I feel deep shame over the actions of my predecessors and empathy towards those whose civilisation was uprooted. And so it continues …

In episode 3 the nobleness of the Aboriginal leader Barak broke my heart:

“And may the Lord bless you sir,
and give you good knowledge.”

.
he wrote to his persecutors.

After his son had died
After the promises had been broken.

.
There is a moment in Greek tragedy when the hero realises all he knows is untrue: peripateum.

Barak must have had such a moment and he returned to his people and his cultural roots, in the last years of his life painting his memories: alive, wonderful, moving.

Vale

 

 

First Australians on SBS

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Dr Marcus Bunyan

Dr Marcus Bunyan is an Australian artist and writer. His art work explores the boundaries of identity and place. He writes Art Blart, a photographic archive and form of cultural memory, which posts mainly photography exhibitions from around the world. He holds a Dr of Philosophy from RMIT University, Melbourne, a Master of Arts (Fine Art Photography) from RMIT University, and a Master of Art Curatorship from the University of Melbourne.

Marcus Bunyan black and white archive: ‘Mask’ 1994

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